This post is primarily for teachers, and for other adults who are interested in education. I would like to share a blog that I found recently that you could perhaps read a bit while you have some free time during vacation this week. It’s called “Teach Paperless; Seeking social solutions to the mysteries of 21st century teaching”. It is a community of educators are are sharing their thoughts about teaching in the 21st century. They say, “Welcome to Teach Paperless. This is a blog meant to help teachers create and maintain Social Tech-integrated Paperless Classrooms. In addition, our community regularly posts and comments on all aspects of paperless, digital, and technological culture as it relates to education,.”
Scroll down to see recent posts in the lower right corner. I just read the post called, “Top Eleven Things All Teachers Must know About Technology (or: I promised Dean Groom I wouldn’t write a top ten list, so this one goes up to eleven.)” and there are several things that I especially like. First, Number 5, “This ain’t your pappy’s technology.” The author states that with the advent of Web 2.0, technology is no longer about the hardware, it’s about the network, especially Cloud Computing (which means that your applications and stored data are not located on your building’s premises, but in computers “out there”, available via the internet), and even more, Mobile Cloud Computing. This is important to educators because it means that we now have access to an incredible number of technology resources that we don’t have to buy! And these resources can stimulate our students’ thinking, writing, reading, editing, and collaborating abilities in new and creative ways.
Second, we should remember the author’s Number 3 statement: “”The Digital Age is not going away.” The author continues, “We have already produced babies who will see the 22nd century. So let’s stop trying to prepare them for the 20th.” That statement really puts things in perspective for me!
I also like Number 9, “Kids need to be taught digital citizenship.” I really believe that in order to prepare our students for working after high school, most (maybe not all, but most) will need to be able to read, write, and communicate in social media in a socially acceptable way. That means learning proper digital etiquette! Remember when we used to learn to write formal letters in 3rd and 4th grade? In today’s world, they need to know how to write nicely in an email message, as well as in a blog post (or reply), and in Twitter, among other things.
And lastly, since technology changes constantly, we must expect our students to become adaptable. In our technology curriculum meetings we have been discussing how “adaptability” is one of the most important skills our students can learn from us, because the tech tools they learn to use today will be obsolete next year! And while I would never deny that our Number 1 job is all about relationships (yes, JM, you are absolutely right!), when it comes to both how and what we teach, digital literacy, etiquette, and adaptability will be key for our students’ success in the future.